There was a time when low budget, badly edited, and extremely poorly produced exploitation films were commonplace. The 1970’s were full of movies referred to as ‘Grindhouse’ pictures that fell under all of the above stated categories. In an homage to the movies of that era Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino may not have only done those pictures justice, but may have surpassed everything those movies were. In “Grindhouse” we are taken back to that era for one night at the movies in a three hour movie extravaganza including intermission with fake trailers for movies of the same exploitation genre.

The first full length feature was Rodriguez’s zombie flick “Planet Terror.” An action packed thriller that takes us back to the ‘B’ movie era of similar zombie movies. With a cast that included Rose McGowan, Bruce Willis, and a wonderful performance from Freddie Rodriguez ‘Planet Terror’ may be one of, if not the greatest zombie movie ever made. Rodriguez’s brilliant writing came through in full with this movie, McGowan’s character, Cherry Darling, having a machine gun attached to the stump of her severed leg may be one of the most original and genius ideas in the history of the genre. In all of its glory ‘Planet Terror’ let’s us young fans know what it was like to see a good old fashioned ‘Grindhouse’ picture, and for that this movie gets an A.

In Tarantino’s ‘Death Proof’ he purposely pens a movie that is meant to be garbage, but instead turns it into a brilliant tribute to the ‘B’ car chase movies such as the oft mentioned ‘Vanishing Point’. There isn’t your typical memorable dialogue in this film but Tarantino shows us that he hasn’t lost a step since the two part Kill Bill series. In the finale’s memorable car chase, Zoe Bell, a stuntwoman playing herself, is clutching for dear life onto the hood of a 1970 Dodge Challenger making for one of the most memorable scenes in the double feature. Kurt Russell’s character of Stuntman Mike is a guy who drives around his stunt car, completely rigged for driver safety, just to mess with other people. This makes for a memorable ending. This movie gets an A-.

The trailers are one in the same with the two features. Exploitation horror movies that would never get greenlit. Yet they are all completely entertaining. The winner of the bunch was Eli Roth’s trailer for ‘Thanksgiving’ where a man dressed in a pilgrim costume begins slashing innocents on Thanksgiving day. With lines like ‘There will be no leftovers’ this trailer is something everyone should see. Trailers-A.

As a whole ‘Grindhouse’ accomplishes exactly what it set out to do. An homage to the old fashioned Grindhouse movies. Mission accomplished.